Home > Corruption > Isaac Lupari, aided by Gelu and Paraka lawyers, stole K3.7 million

Isaac Lupari, aided by Gelu and Paraka lawyers, stole K3.7 million

Former Ambassador to the European Union, Departmental Head and Consultant to the Prime Minister, Isaac Lupari stole K3.7 million from the people of PNG through false claims for breach of contract according to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Finance Department.

The false claims were drafted and submitted by Guguna Garo, of Paul Paraka lawyers, and were illegally settled by the then Solicitor General, Zachary Gelu. In addition to the K3.7 million, a further K800,000 was paid to Paul Paraka lawyers from public funds for their role in facilitating the fraud.

The Commission of Inquiry has recommended Isaac Lupari, Zacchary Gelu and Guguna Garo all be investigated by the police with a view to prosecution for fraud and conspiracy.

From 1997 through to 2009, Isaac Lupari was employed by the State in a series of senior positions including Secretary Finance, Secretary Defence, Secretary Works, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Michael Somare, Secretary Transport, Ambassador to the European Union and Chief Secretary. In these positions Lupari was handsomely rewarded, receiving, for example K1,294,133 in the four-and-a-half year period between September 1997 and April 2002

But being paid over K270,000 a year wasn’t enough it seems because in December 2001 Lupari sued the State for breach of four separate employment contracts. Lupari claimed he had successively been unlawfully terminated as Secretary Finance, Defence, Personnel Management and Transport and was entitled to claim the balance of all pay and entitlements for the unexpired period of all four contracts. These claims were fraudulent as Mr. Lupari never suffered any loss of pay and entitlements and was employed by the State for the whole time that he claimed for and beyond.

However, Lupari’s initial legal claims were never pursued as when Somare was elected PM in 2002, Lupari agreed to withdraw them as part of the deal that saw him appointed as Ambassador to the EU. Lupari though did not honour that agreement and five months later, in January 2003, Paul Paraka lawyers resubmitted the four claims on behalf of their client.

Less than two months after the four claims were filed with the Court they were approved for settlement by Solicitor General Zachary Gelu. Gelu agreed to settle the claims despite clear instructions from the Department of Personnel Management that the claims were unlawful, without merit and should be vigorously defended.

Gelu personally signed the Deed of Settlement awarding Lupari K3,703,461.31 and at the same time approved the payment to Paul Paraka lawyers of an additional K800,000 for their costs (a hugely inflated figure given the claims had only been issued two months earlier).

Lupari’s illegal claims were drafted and filed by Guguna Garo of Paraka lawyers. The Commission found that Mr Garo must have known that at least one of the claims he submitted was baseless and that in all four cases he would have known Mr Lupari had suffered no loss. The Commission found Mr Garu knowingly misled the court from the very start.

Read the Commission report on Issac Lupari

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  1. May 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

    This is the same person that has a anti-corruption column in one of the dailies.
    This is a classic case of wolf in sheep skin. Makes me lose faith in our leaders.

  2. ODAU III
    June 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    God havery MERCY on us please.
    Why are we having this people runing around getting their articles done on Post Courier?

    Mr Lupari knows he is an thief yet he goes around preaching about corruption at all levels in Post COurier.
    ANd Post Courier knowingly, yet, get to publish his shit on on their publication for the poor people of Papua New GUinea to read…

    Making money aye? through corrupt ways? yes of course.

  3. prum
    January 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I think this article was written by someone with a hidden motive to tarnish the good name of one of the top elite sons of Papua New Guinea. There is no better public servant ever served like Issac Lupari. No PNGeans go that far like being department heads from one department to another for a consecutive number of years. Issac is good. Peoples, you have never seen this person in real. He hate anything that is corrupt.

  4. Oka Tiki
    January 25, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I agree with PRUM that Mr. Lupari is one of the top bureaucrats that PNG can produce. His moving from top positions is evidence in his style of work, experience and education level. However, i regret to see that his repatation and integrity that has been built for many years has been tarnished by the findings of the Commission of Inquiry which i believe has alot of questions to be answered by Mr. Lupari and others.

  5. Kraip Waut
    January 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    In one of my two previous comments to this News Paper, I have pointed out that we have a political mafia gang network operating in the country siphoning public funds. The good news is that this network will one day be destroyed and all those responsible will be punished and all their looted wealth wherever they are will be transferred back to the people of Papua New Guinea.

    In history no government has ruled forever at the expenses of the suffering of the people. Dictators have been toppled and justice has prevailed. The Arab Spring has brought into light the future ahead if we continue to travel down the same path. Or the extreme case of some African and Middle East states where extremists and war lords rule may be our next destiny waiting ahead. We also know from history that the corrupted regimes (such as Suharto of Indonesia, the Macros of Philippines, Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya) not lasted forever. At the end justice was waiting and finally caught up with them when they least expected it. Some flee and live in exile, some imprisoned and some killed. Even the worst evil in the history of mankind never lasted. Adolf Hitler regarded as the incarnation of absolute evil in the history of mankind perished with all his deeds.

    In the face of tyranny, always rise the believers of justice. Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Martin Luther King Jr. of US, and Karamchand Gandhi of India are the beacon of the human rights and freedom of the voiceless, oppressed and deprived. They lived their lives no one else lived. They saw things no one else seen. They believed in things no else believed. They sacrificed their lives but become the legends. Their legacy lived on. May we not forget, “A RICH COUNTRY YET POOR”?

  1. May 21, 2013 at 9:16 am
  2. February 4, 2017 at 9:33 am

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